Alvaiazere – Rabacal
3 April 2018
31.1km (for Berto)
0.0km (for me – I got a lift with Carlos’ son)
It’s a rainy day:
It rained continuously throughout the night and when we got up it was still raining. Berto is walking to Rabacal today, while I will drive there with Carlos’ son. The Finnish couple and Berto decided to walk together, but the Italians said they would make another plan, because according to them there was no way they would walk in this weather!
Berto walked the entire route in the rain – sometimes just a drizzle, but mostly it was hard and continuous rain. This meant he couldn’t take any photos and so we can’t show you the beauty of the road.
He did mention that they mostly walked through olive groves and crop fields, which meant a lot of mud walking! I would have loved to have walked these paths (but come to think about it … maybe not in this rain).
A nice chat (and drive) in a car:
Instead, Carlos’ son (a third-year student at the University of Coimbra) took me to Rabacal in his car. We had a nice chat on the way – he told me how he likes to return to Rabacal during weekends and holidays to help his father at the albergue. He was looking forward to getting his degree, but said he would like to work in a small town. I was glad to hear that, because we have heard many times now that the young people in Portugal are leaving their small hometowns to live and work in the bigger cities.
The same happens in South Africa where young people leave their towns/villages and move to bigger cities. This results in quite a few ghost towns. Carlos’ son and I have one thing in common: Neither of us like big cities!
Accommodation – Rabacal:
Hostel O Bonito – Rua da Igreja, Rabacal
I arrived in Rabacal around 10am. It was still way too early to check in at the hostel (Hostel O Bonito) so I walked to the adjacent café to enjoy a hot coffee.
Hostel O Bonito, our accommodation for the night
The pool at Hostel O Bonito. I think during the summer it would be a good place to enjoy, but today only the rain filled the pool
The lady at the café offered me another coffee on the house (and apologised for having to wait for a bed), which of course was completely unnecessary as it was still very early … they are just so friendly and accommodating people.
The (possible) answer to my swollen ankle:
The “hospitaleiro” from the hostel looked at my foot and her diagnosis was that it looked like something had bitten/stung me to which I had an allergic reaction. Well, why didn’t I think of that! Suddenly the itchy feeling along with the pain makes perfect sense!
She mentioned that in some pine forests there are pine caterpillars that can be stepped on and their larvae hairs can be irritating to human skin. And yes, I remembered the walks through some pine forests. As well as that day when we walked to Golega in the pouring rain and saw all the caterpillars on the road we stepped on. Could these be the culprits responsible for my swollen foot?
With this news, I immediately took an antihistamine tablet (thankfully, I usually carry it with me for hay fever). I hope I didn’t do more damage by continuing to walk.
Our beds in Hostel O Bonito
The rain stopped for a moment and I wandered down the street of Rabacal. It is such a small town (according to Brierley their population is only about 1,000). I took two photos that basically covered the town!
The small village of Rabacal
After it started raining again, I quickly went back to the café to drink more coffee. It was lunch time and some workers came in to have something to eat and drink. It was the perfect place to observe the locals – something I love to do!
Locals enjoying lunchtime in the café at hostel O Bonito
The antihistamine tablet I had taken earlier caused drowsiness and I returned to our dormitory to take a nap. At 15:30 Berto woke me up. They were soaking wet and literally covered in mud. After a well deserved hot shower we went in search of coffee.
What to do with wet clothes on a rainy day:
It was time to do our laundry again (remember, we only have 2 sets of clothes). But how do we get our clothes dry when it’s raining non-stop … well there’s always the dryer. Although the instructions on the labels of our hiking clothes are clear about “no tumble dryer”, there wasn’t really another option for us.
The little shop further down the street sold cheese and cured meats and together with some fresh Portuguese rolls we had a lovely meal. The Finns shared the dormitory with us, while one of the Italians had his own room next to us. The other Italian got transport that took him to Coimbra (he was just fed up with all this rain). After dinner, we went to our warm and dry beds with our red wine … tonight it’s a wine drinking evening in bed!
Wine in bed
I have no ankle – swollen from my toes to my lower leg
The “hospitaleiro” mentioned earlier that every morning at 9:30 a bus passes through the town on its way to Coimbra.
Berto will continue walking tomorrow, while I will take the bus to Coimbra. I’m sure that there will be a store that sells hiking sandals that will fit my “big foot” – and then … hopefully I can start walking again.
Click here for Day 9 …
6 thoughts on “CAMINO PORTUGUESE – DAY 8”
A small village for sure but yet another excellent looking hostel and I think the idea of red wine in bed is a very good one!
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Really loved the hostels in the smaller towns (and wine in bed – who would have thought … 😜)
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Ah, the decadence. I thought you were supposed to be poor pilgrims but it all looks comfy enough to me. Just right too, you had earned it.
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😁 … well, the wine was cheap!